November 03, 2011

Geocoding Historic Photographs in Lexington, KY

As part of my undergraduate iWorlds class this semester, I assigned students the task of geocoding historic photographs of Lexington, KY. The photos, which are available online in digital format, are housed at the Kentuckiana Digital Library at the University of Kentucky and have metadata that includes street addresses, albeit usually embedded in a paragraph rather than as a separate field.


After aggregating all the students' work, I played around a bit with some kml code and ended up a map of 500+ geocoded historic photographs. I’ve posted the kmz file which can be opened in Google Earth. Click on a placemark and you can see the photograph and a link to the KDL entry. Thanks to Matt Wilson for alerting me to these photos and Deirdre Scaggs for helping us access them easily.

1 comment:

  1. This looks really interesting! I am working on a photography project recreating many of these photographs in collodion... one of the problems I noticed with the KyVL catalog is that some of the descriptions on location are actually wrong.

    It's a small amount of them (maybe like 5%) that get it wrong, but are you relying completely on the data attached to the image being correct?

    A way of clarifying these mistakes that is quite useful is actually looking at Sanborn maps from the area. On a side note, it's also interested to look just how much of the city has changed over the years!

    The method I use to view the Sanborn maps is through the Kenton County public library, but I'm sure there are other ways to access them :)

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